Communication is an integral part of working in the business organization. Individuals communicate various pieces of information to internal and external business stakeholders (Osmond, 2015).
However, upward communication channels are the methods that allow lower level or front line employees to transfer messages to the managers, supervisors and directors, these channels may face significant barriers for employees attempting to send feedback or other communication to higher level management (Small Business – Chron.com, 2015).
Further down this critique, Insightlink benchmark norms indicate that just less than 40% of employees in the U.S are satisfied with the overall effectiveness of communications within their organization (Insightlink.com, 2015). That implies, obviously, that a stunning 60% of workers in the U.S. are not fulfilled by the general communication inside of their place of work.
Problems of Ingratiation are one of the most potent explanations for difficulties with upward feedback which can be found in ingratiation theory. This proposes that those with a lower level of status habitually exaggerate the extent to which they agree with the opinions and actions of higher status people, as a means of acquiring influence with them (Tourish & Hargie, 2004). Studies point out that diminished power amongst subordinates is complemented by an better propensity on their part to employ some form of ingratiation and an increased use of ‘politeness’ strategies and the business consequences can be severe (Tourish and Hargie, 1998).
Power and status differentials fuel ingratiation practices but they also cause people to censor the expression of their views more generally (Openair.rgu.ac.uk, 2015). Enron serves as a good illustration. “The company operated a system known as ‘rank and yank’, in which those classified as poor performers stood ultimately to lose their jobs; given its aggressive recruitment practices, and the pressures of being a new employee, it appears that up to half the organisation’s employees were in peril of redundancy at any one time; it is very unlikely that people in such a fearful state would communicate critical feedback to those managers with the power to ‘yank’ anyone perceived as being off-message” (Openair.rgu.ac.uk, 2015). Problems with upward feedback have consistently been shown to be a key part of what is known as ‘groupthink’ and this suggests groups protected from basic outside criticism create illusions in their own particular resistance, freedom, too-much fearlessness in the nature of their choice understanding their uniqueness from different groups (Tourish, 2013).
Moreover, they disagree with or mutilate the truths, propose justifications for their deeds, use parables and wittiness to embellish their self-esteem, and incline the flop of their choices to external elements, as opposed to the nature of their own choice making. Critical upward feedback is often systematically distorted, constrained and eliminated and when this occurs, and consistent with the data on groupthink, a narcissistic group identity may result, characterised by such ego-defence mechanisms as ‘denial, rationalisation, attributional egotism, sense of entitlement, and ego aggrandizement (Tourish, 2013). Individuals have a need to sustain a positive feeling of self, and they grasp personality protective conduct to keep up self-regard. Disposing of or belittling basic feedback is one clear method for achieving this.
In spite of having many advantages, upward communication is not free from limitations of inefficiency in a practical U.S. organization. Militating barriers include; supervisor’s negligence, delay in the feedback mechanism, risk of distortion of messages, lack of initiative among subordinates, bypassing, indiscipline and fear of inefficiency (Businesscom, 2015).
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